Number of art festivals Tijuana hosts per year
Number of murals that can be found in Tijuana (more than any other city in the world!)
Día De Los Muertos To coincide (loosely) with the Day of the Dead, Turista Libre will take you on a tour of the oldest public cemetery in Tijuana. It’s got an interesting backstory, but yeah: scary! turistalibre.com
Club Tijuanas Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente soccer team plays San Luis at TJ's Estadio Caliente.
One Day in T.J.
By Derrik Chinn
Once you’re over the border, head as far west as the road goes, to Playas de Tijuana, where the border fence barrels down the beach and into the Pacific. This is Tijuana 101 and unarguably a surreal sight that draws curious tourists from all over the globe. Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes that line the wooden boardwalk and gaze at the graffiti that covers the rusted poles. Ironically, it’s all impossible to see from the U.S. side, which makes the “please don’t feed the gringos” line all the more amusing (at least for gringos who can take a joke). Right behind you is Don Rey’s tostilocos stand, which earlier this year graced the pages of the New York Times with its take on Tijuana’s contender for the world's most bizarre salad: Tostitos, Japanese peanuts, tamarind candy, apples, cucumbers, pickled pig skin, and, of course, about a quart of hot sauce.
Back in town, do a lap at Mercado Hidalgo, in Zona Río at Sanchez Taboada and 10th Street, the granddaddy of Tijuana’s open-air markets. Housed in a huge yellow complex that fills the entire block, the place dates back to the 1950s. Inside you’ll find some 80 vendors selling produce, spices, candy, local cheeses, random Mexican housewares and toys, and absolute piñata nirvana.
No romp in Tijuana is complete without tacos, so hit up Taquería Franc, just across the street from Hidalgo. Pull up a stool, holler out an order for an asada-adobada-tripa trio, and ask for your meat quemadita (extra crispy). That’s the real flavor saver.
Cool down at Tepoznieves (grupotepoznieves.com.mx), an ice cream parlor whose some 120 flavors span the classic as well as the strange and unusual (passion fruit, rose petal, tequila, lettuce, cheese, beet, carrot, cactus). Named after a mystical central Mexican mountain town that was supposedly the earthly home of the Aztec wind god’s son, naturally, it’s right across the street from a Dairy Queen.
Wind down at the Baja Craft Beer Tasting Room (bajacraftbeers.com), a new bar that opened in August in an old warehouse off Boulevard Agua Caliente, alongside the bullring ruins. Sawed-off beer kegs serve as chandeliers, and a maze of rusted rebar pads the walls and ceiling. More than 30 local brews are on tap—a sign of the times in a world where, up until recently, cerveza options made for a never-ending pinball battle between the Corona and Tecate empires. Go with whatever owner Ruben Valenzuela nudges your way, be it Insurgente, Ramuri, Cucapá, Baja Brewing Co., or Stone. Yep, Stone. Local means local, after all—borders aside.